Tombs of the Blind Dead

by on Mar.27, 2010, under Daily Review

‘Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition!’ The Templar Knights didn’t; thought they could get away with slaying virgins at the altar, whipping and slicing at their flesh, before drinking up the bloody remains. The excuse for this torture was sacrifice to the devil in exchange for eternal life. The Spanish King gets wind of this and sends in his boys who massacre the lot, hanging them up on the highest of trees, with birds pecking out their eyes, an example to the citizens of Spain; don’t dabble with the devil.

That was the 13th Century. Here we are back in the 70’s. Virginia,(Maria Elena Arpon) Betty(Lone Fleming) and Roger(Cesar Burner) are holiday making. After some jealousy, Virginia strops off, spending the night in a deserted, derelict castle only to be awoken by the sounds of the dead, creeping quietly, listening to every noise and movement. Virginia screams and the knights make their move, biting and sucking at her flesh.

This is unlike any other zombie flick you are likely to watch. It’s got some amazing visual shots and is perfectly made. Amando de Osserio was a film maker which I believe has been hugely overlooked. His style stands up alongside Bava and Hitchcock, but I believe he was neglected by critics due to his films subject matter. Blind Templar Zombies doesn’t offer much in the way of credit on the critics list. But his cinematic flair and directional support to his cast, paired with his stunning artistic vision should hold this film maker up as one of the finest of his era.

There isn’t much blood and gore to Tombs of the Blind Dead, but there is a desperate feeling throughout many of the tense scenes. One such scene shows two victims cornered by the Blind Dead. The first girl scream and weeps as they approach slowly and carefully before taking long slow bites. The other girl holds her breath and stays perfectly still, as the dead hover around her, listening for a sound. Her heart beat gives her away as her chest heaves, she makes a run for it.

A truly amazing movie. Brilliantly light. A scene with the murdered Virginia returning from the dead, looking for a snack amongst a room of mannequins also offers some real candy to eye which could easily be mistaken for a Mario Bava scene.

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